Training Camp Road Trip: Vernon Lions

Reported by: Charlie Bartlett

The Vernon Lions have a new head coach on the field. Andy Correll is ready to lead his team.

"The transition has not been hard at all," said Vernon Head Coach Andy Correll. "I've coached in Texas before, I'm from Texas so I know what this is all about. The kids work hard so it's good to be back."

"He pushes us," said Vernon Guard Dillon Koch. "He wants everything from the little things to the big things, he wants it perfect. He wants it good we can get better and stronger."

"He wants everything to be professional as from how we dress, to the way we wear our clothes," said Vernon Wide Receiver Leroy Daniels. "He just wants us to be completely professional and work hard."

He's not your average coach though, Correll's got championship caliber.

He won a class 3A New Mexico State Championship in 2008. He wants to do the same with his team , who went 1-9 last season.

"Everybody has a mentality," said Koch. "We're not going to do last year again. We're going to stay away from that and we're going to go as far as we can go."

"It's a lot of hard work, a lot of heart," said Correll. "We got to stay healthy and execute what we've been taught to do."

Coach Correll's biggest change with the Lions is the offense. Their moving from a traditional Wing T to the Shotgun Spread.

"All of our quarterbacks are new at this, but they've made great strides," said Correll. "In less than two weeks that we've been doing this, it's been a fast improvement."

"We have a lot of athletes on the field," said Daniels. "I mean it wasn't that hard because everybody's athletic and the transition is very easy."

The Lions only have 3 returning starters. This season is all about new players stepping up.

"Everything we do from this point is going to be brand new," said Correll. "That comes with games. I mean we want to do well in our scrimmages, our pre-district. We want to get better each week and by district we want to be rolling. You know, the win and losses will come."

They believe they can bring back the winning tradition to Vernon. They just need to keep the Lion pride up.